the right to bear stains

yesterday i had the pleasure of conversing with a wall. she said her name was ego. she also claimed to know me in ways that i wasn’t brave enough to comprehend, and yes, i’m aware that suggests i had some control in the matter. furthermore, she stated that i lack understanding even during my more accurate moments.  it was implied that i could use some guidance.  my response shocked us both, maybe.

“okay,” i said, and with that, i decided to let her lead. i am not a follower by nature.
her road, though radiating, was rocky. i was tossed to and fro, but i did not flinch.
yesterday, i was not afraid.
“let me teach you a thing or two about fear.”
“okay,” i heard my own voice agree as i bravely committed to the unknown.

she was going to take everything.
she wanted it all.
i was to crumble – that was the lesson.

so i did. and even saying that, i am still downplaying the situation. i shattered when i did not believe i could be broken. i found myself, at sunrise, gazing at that same depressing spot where i let my eyes rest every time i knew with complete certainty that none of this could ever mean anything at all.

moments later, i found myself in the dark. i had a vague memory of attempting to put myself to sleep permanently. i was pretty sure i had dealt with myself once and for all, but i could still feel her presence.

i was falling down a long dark tunnel before being violently forced backwards. this falling was accompanied by a screech i could only understand to be her voice. it grew louder and louder like an incoming train until it vibrated inside each and every one of my pores as though a tornado was passing directly through me.
she swallowed me whole prior to regurgitating me back up. my rotting cells were infused again with actual biology and all at once,
i felt.

she, then, seemed to be some sort of mixed up undertaker.  i began to believe that she had revived me against my will, or at least without my permission. aside from the bulimic revival episode, her manners were exquisite. she never displayed rudeness, unlike the others. we spoke of cities that did not exist on any map i’d encountered and of knowledge which escaped language. i found comfort in her essence during that period and eventually in myself, as well.

it took her eight straight weeks to admit, finally, that what i thought were my fresh lively eyes were, in fact, dead eyes.
that’s what she said. she said my eyes appeared dead.

“have you ever seen someone with cataracts?”

my aura, she swore, had blurred.
i think “blurred” was a polite word choice. i sensed hesitation.
so there i was with all of this knowing lacking any hint of concrete fact. just this sickening knowing that logic could not whisk away.
was she the elevator man – the tech support from the afterlife of Vanilla Sky?
or was she simply a messenger, trying to tell me, ever so carefully, that i had died?
not metaphorically the way it had seemed during that sunrise, but
actually died?
did my vessel actually reside, decaying, elsewhere?

maybe i was no longer living in the sense that i once was or believed i was. things, certainly, had changed. if our reality was somewhat seamlessly connected to the “after-life” experience, what signs could be given? and could one actually be vomited back into existence?

i was no longer sure that i was alive in the traditional sense.
i did not mean this metaphorically.
i was afraid that i was actually,
literally,
dead.

suddenly i recalled one of my favorite quotes: “everything you need to know you can find by looking at your hands.”

i frantically began to examine the lines on my fingers and palms, checking for discrepancies, only to realize i never really knew my own hands in the first place. analysis proved inconclusive. ghastly thought forms threatened to project as they fed off of chaotic spirits of fear which surrounded me.

“SILENCE!”

immediately the dark energy was replaced by a dull hum which calmed me. but who had given the command?

she was nowhere to be found, but i did notice a stain on a book from my childhood that had never been there before. and then another in the exact same place on a different book, and then another, and another, and…

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